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Public Training Classes vs. In-Home Training for Dogs: Which is Right for You?

on November 03, 2023

Every dog owner knows that training is essential to raising a well-behaved, happy, and balanced pet. However, when it comes to choosing the right training method, many are left wondering: should you opt for public training classes or in-home training sessions? Each approach has its own set of benefits and challenges, and the best choice often depends on the specific needs of the dog and its owner. In this blog post, we will review the differences between public training classes and in-home training for dogs.

dog sitting in front of book

Public Training Class Features

Group Environment

One of the most apparent differences between these two types of classes is the environment. Public training classes are usually conducted in a group setting where multiple dogs and their owners gather in a designated area, like a dog training school or a park.

  • Benefits: In this setting, dogs can learn to behave and follow commands amidst distractions. They get used to being around other dogs and people, which is excellent for socialization. This can be particularly beneficial for puppies or dogs that are shy or under-socialized. Read more about the importance of socialization for dogs here.
  • Challenges: Some dogs might find it overwhelming or stressful. Aggressive or highly reactive dogs might not be suitable for a group setting initially. However, some companies also offer reactive dog classes, which can help manage this behavior. Learn more about reactive dogs here.

Structured Curriculum

Public classes often follow a set curriculum, teaching commands in a specific order and progressing from basic commands to more advanced ones over several weeks.

  • Benefits: Provides a structured learning path and consistency. Owners know what to expect and can practice at home.
  • Challenges: Not all dogs progress at the same rate. Some might need more time on a particular command or behavior.


Group classes tend to be more affordable than individual in-home sessions since the cost is divided among several participants.

Free Dogs on Training Stock Photo

In-Home Training Features

Personalized Attention

With in-home training, a trainer comes to your home to work one-on-one with your dog.

  • Benefits: The training is tailored to your dog's specific needs and challenges. The trainer can focus on issues unique to your home environment, such as door manners or territorial behavior.
  • Challenges: Often more expensive than group classes due to the more personal nature and individual setting and focus. 
  • Additionally, your dog might behave differently in its territory compared to a neutral setting. This can be a pro and a con, depending on the trainer. Most trainers will be well prepared and know how to handle a territorial dog, but it might mean the dog presents behaviors that don’t usually occur. A professional in-home trainer will know how to manage these situations well, so be sure to research the best person for the job! 


Owners don’t have to travel, making it ideal for those with tight schedules or lacking transportation.

  • Benefits: Home training saves time and allows training sessions to fit into the owner's routine seamlessly.
  • Challenges: Some homes may not have adequate space for certain training exercises. There's also a lack of socialization opportunities with other dogs.

Flexibility in Curriculum

In-home trainers can adjust the training plan based on the dog's progress and any emerging issues.

  • Benefits: Allows for a more adaptable approach, which can be particularly useful for addressing behavioral issues or for dogs with special needs.
  • Challenges: Without the structured environment of a class, owners might need more self-discipline to ensure consistency in training practices.

Free Short-coated Brown Dog on Wooden Beam Stock Photo

Which is Right for You?

The decision between public training classes and in-home training often boils down to the individual dog and owner's needs.

Puppies and Socialization: Public training classes can be invaluable for socialization if you have a young puppy. Interacting with other dogs and people in a controlled environment can build confidence and good behavior.

Behavioral Issues: For dogs with specific behavioral problems, like aggression or severe anxiety, in-home training can provide a safe, controlled environment to address these issues without the added stress of other dogs or distractions.

Convenience vs. Cost: In-home training is the way to go if convenience is a top priority. However, if you're budget-conscious, group classes tend to be more affordable.

adult rough collie

In conclusion, both public training classes and in-home training offer distinct advantages. Assess your dog's temperament, your living situation, your budget, and your training goals to make an informed decision. Whatever you choose, consistent training is the key to nurturing a happy, well-adjusted canine companion.

Ready to em-bark on your training journey? Make sure you have everything you need by browsing the boutique, high-quality dog accessories offered at K9 & Company!


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